Sinful Scottish Laird by Julia London

March 10, 2017
What happened?

I must ask myself - was I in a bad mood when I read Sinful Scottish Laird? I examined myself. I wasn't in a bad mood, nothing was going on in my life; I wasn't mad at anyone, my feelings were not hurt, I was not depressed, feeling blue, filled with angst or boo-hooing. For whatever reason, I have once again found myself in the minority position of not liking a book everyone else seems to be crazy about. Let me be a little bit more explicit; this book was almost a DNF for me. I said almost. Here are some of the reason's it didn't become a DNF: Julia London is one of my auto-buy authors and I have great respect for her writing. I also like the relationship between our hero Cailean and our heroine’s son Ellis. I liked the first book in the series, Wild Wicked Scot, very much and was hoping, hoping, hoping as I turned each page in Sinful Scottish Laird that somehow, something would save it. By the time I reached page 122 (out of 248), I knew my wish was not to be. But, through dogged determination I slogged through the entire book.

Here are some of my issues with this book - where to begin? Where to begin? Let's start with Arran MacKenzie, the father of our hero and the hero of the previous book Wild Wicked Scot. This is an "all about me" moment. When my romance heroes age, they better age well. If they have aches, pains and can barely stand I have a problem. I have never been a big fan of watching my book heroes disintegrate. I don't like heroes who I have formed an attachment to moan, groan and start knocking on deaths doorway. They need to be spry, energetic and still have that twinkle in their eyes or eye (they may have been a pirate). If they are struggling physically, then we are crossing the line into a different sub-genre of a sub-genre of a genre. In order to do that, the writing better be superb or it won't work. Sure, sure, back in the good old days of the bodice rippers, a number of our heroes bit the dust and the heroines moved on to other men - lots of men. But I wasn't a fan of those books either. Of course Arran doesn't die in this one, but he was struggling so hard I had to make sure he was the hero of the last book. It was depressing.

But with all of that one of my biggest issue in this book was with Daisy Bristol, our heroine. Daisy - PpppBbbtt!! What an unlikeable frustrating woman. I'm not sure what the author was trying to do with her. While I'm a big fan of strong women in romance books, I'm really not a fan of heroines portrayed as sluttish teases. Yes, I know how most of us feel about romance widows who don't partake of any humpidy-doo or don't scratch that widowhood itch, ever! Daisy just didn't have any constancy when it came to her urges. It seemed to me that any old "pole" in the storm would have been good enough for her. Oh sure, Cailean was the main heart beater, flush creator, throb-maker, but she wasn't above rolling shoulders at other men. All of this while she was waiting for the man from her past who supposedly she loved. That would be Robert Spivey an English Navy officer. Remember we are in Scotland in the tumultuous 1700s. Incidentally, Daisy tries to seduce Robert - tongue in mouth, hands moving up thighs - so it's more than just an eyelash flutter.

Another of my concerns. It seems that Daisy's dead husband stipulated in his will that unless she married within three years of his death, she would lose their sons inheritance. What does that mean? I didn't get it. Does that mean the son would be walking the streets begging? Would this have even been legal? Her husband was a Viscount, so we are talking inherited stuff here. I don't know if any of this would have been legal having never studied English inheritance laws of the 18th century. Wouldn't there have been some kind of a guardian for the underage viscount? It's Ellis' money, not Daisy's so none of this stipulation thing made any sense. Plus the fortune hunting men who were sniffing around Daisy added to my confusion. It was not her money! This whole business was a huge distraction for me. I felt as if I was missing something; it just didn't make any sense.

The wonderful dynamics of Wild Wicked Scot were missing in this book. I kept waiting for something to happen, and that doesn't mean a villain needs to jump out of the pages. No I found myself waiting for some chemistry between Daisy and Cailean to appear in front of my eyes. Much to my chagrin, nothing ever happened. He was a cardboard character and she was just a tease.

Belinda. Not even the secondary character of Belinda could save this story. In fact, I was not able to understand whether she was supposed to be funny, mean or unhinged.

The only thing that saved this book from the wall was nine year old Ellis and his relationship with Cailean. Ellis was a well-developed character. He begins as a coddled, scared little child who hides behind his mother’s skirt and slowly changes into a laughing knee-scraping boy. This transformation is due to the tender guiding hand of Cailean. Their relationship was so special I even felt a tear forming when Ellis was forced to go to London with Daisy. I just wish the rest of the book had been as good.

Bottom line. I was disappointed in the second in the Highland Grooms series. I disliked the fickle, tease Daisy immensely. Cailean was a cardboard hero and I felt like a gerbil in one of those round exercise wheels - reading, reading, reading and never getting anywhere.

Time/Place: 1700s Scotland
Sensuality: no chemistry
Overall Book:


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